Are You a Healthy Eater? 10 Questions You Need to Ask
Photo: Natalie Maynor
Food is your daily medicine–three times a day, everyday. What you eat contributes to the way you feel on a daily basis and to health outcomes later in life. Not sure how well you eat? Ask yourself these 10 questions:
1. How many servings of fruits and vegetables do you eat daily?
The food pyramid should put fruits and vegetables at the bottom because you need the most servings of them to stay healthy. Try and get two to three servings of fruits and vegetables (more vegetables than fruit) at every meal. In all, you should get 8 to 9 servings per day. If you’re interested in which colors provide which nutrients, read my article over at TLC: Can You Eat With the Seasons and Eat the Rainbow at the Same Time? Look for deep color in your fruits and vegetables because that’s an indicator of nutrient density. The quality of your fruits and vegetables is also incredibly important; think local, organic, and if possible, grown by your own two hands.
2. Do you eat meat?
Meat in moderation is one thing, but excessive daily servings of meat has an impact on your health. One huge study that came out this year proves it so. It found that eating just one serving per day (the size of a deck of cards) of unprocessed red meat increased your risk of premature death by 13 percent. If that meat was processed (bacon, sausage, etc) then your risk increased by 20 percent. By replacing that serving with fish the risk went down by 7 percent but even better, by replacing meat with nuts it went down 19 percent, and beans it went down 10 percent.
3. How much caffeine do you drink?
Coffee in moderation can actually be a good thing. We often forget that coffee is actually a plant; the coffee bean contains more than 1000 naturally occurring substances called phytochemicals, which may help prevent disease. But at the same time, too much caffeine dehydrates you and can cause anxiety and stress. Keep your intake to one cup of coffee per day.